If you haven’t already done so, you are likely taking down the Christmas tree and all the decorations sometime soon. This is the perfect time to let go of the Christmas clutter. Imagine yourself pulling out your organized Christmas bins next year. Sounds good, doesn’t it? It usually takes me a couple of days to get this done and this year I am letting go of all the Christmas décor that doesn’t make my heart sing. Here’s how you can do it, too:
Unused Christmas Decorations:
It’s not unusual to end up leaving some of your things in the box. I know that for the last two years, due to health issues, I haven’t put out everything we have. Sometimes we forget. Sometimes we are trying something new. Sometimes we just plain skip the same things every year and yet still hang on to them. Before you start putting away everything, it’s time to address the things you didn’t use
- broken items – either fix them or let them go
- Anything you haven’t used for more than two years. If it’s not being kept out of sight because of toddlers, a new puppy or the fact you’ve been unable to decorate due to health reasons, let it go.
- Anything you love, but were unable to put out this year (see above) – make sure it’s in working order, and have it ready to pack away with like items.
Household Christmas Décor:
This is pretty much anything that doesn’t go on a tree. Take a good look around you and see what catches your eye first. It’s usually these things that you like best. These are the keepers and the rest deserves your scrutiny. Ask yourself the following questions as you gather up everything to pack away:
- Does this still fit in with my colour scheme/decorating plan?
- Is this something that I put out because it was a gift (but I don’t really like it?)
- Are any repairs needed? (either fix it before you pack it away or get rid of it)
- Do you actually like it and want to have it in your home? (if you hesitate, get rid of it)
Outdoor Christmas Décor:
Christmas lights, blow-ups, reindeer, Santa sleighs and more decorate the lawns and homes in my neighbourhood. Some people go all out, while others are happy with a more restrained look. Whether you have a home to rival the Grizwalds in Christmas Vacation, or you prefer a tasteful wreath on the door, here are a few tips for letting go of what’s not needed.
- Did it get put out this year? If not, why not? Either address the issue or let it go.
- Light strings burn out. It happens. Either find the burnt bulb(s), or get rid of the string. Don’t keep strings that don’t work.
- Blow ups are a hot item now. If you have one that doesn’t stand up, the fan is broken, it has a tear, the lights have burnt out – consider letting it go. Fix it if you can, but do not put it away broken
- Think about how your outdoors looked this year. Did you like it? What could you do better? Let go of the items that don’t fit in with your vision.
Putting It All Away:
Take the time to put like things with like things. Organize your bins so that you have all your Christmas tree decorations together, all of your indoor items together (room by room if you have that many) and all of your outdoor items together. Label the boxes or bins with what is inside. I have Indoor Decorations, Outdoor Decorations, Christmas Books (a whole bin of those here), Christmas Cards/Wrap and this year have added a November 15th box so I can bring out the Christmas crafts, advent calendars and the elf on the shelf I caved in and bought on clearance this year.
Don’t stress over how it goes away. Pack everything carefully to avoid breakage (you don’t need to use Pinterest to do this – paper towel, tissue paper, newspaper all works just fine). Put it away in a logical manner so that you can find things easily next year. Put the boxes away in a safe place. If you use a crawlspace/attic I suggest you have the items you want out first be left closest to the entrance.
For the past two Christmases I haven’t been able to decorate like I used to. My boys are still small, though, and it’s important to me that our home is festive. I’ve pulled out my favourite things, and discovered that I haven’t missed much of what didn’t make it out. Even though I completely decluttered our Christmas stuff three years ago, letting go of a huge amount, I found that with the reduced decorating there were things I didn’t miss. It wasn’t a lot, since I have significantly less than I used to, but it made me happy to let it go instead of stressing over the fact it didn’t make it out again this year. Another bin of stuff for the garage sale, and much tidier Christmas storage made this exercise worth it.